So Why Social Media Marketing? Why Bother?

facebook smileys 300x225 So Why Social Media Marketing? Why Bother?Based on a current Razorfish Consumer Experience Report, 49% of Internet users now buy something according to suggestions they acquired via a social media site. Yet, only 25% of companies employ a Facebook page. Is it just us, or are the numbers a little off here?

Social networking online communities are breeding grounds for connections. Consumers are discussing your products, your services, as well as your organization itself, on social media sites such as Facebook. It’s inescapable. Are they going to understand how to locate you? Social media networks are where the PEOPLE are.

Let’s say there was an expo taking place in which 300 million people would be attending, and we offered you a totally free presentation area. Would you accept it? Of course you would. Facebook, for instance, keeps growing at a rate of 600,000 new users a day. Attention spans continue to keep getting shorter and trust in advertising and marketing will continue to deteriorate. The only real option you’ve got is to take part in the already occurring conversation. You probably know this. We trust our friends a lot more than those overly pleasant folks in commercials. You could be the voice on television that gets ignored, or you can befriend your customers on Facebook, or Twitter, or the ever-expanding Google Plus. The call is yours.

Why You Must Cater To The Mobile Web Surfer

90px GSM base station 2 Why You Must Cater To The Mobile Web SurferWith roughly 5.2 billion mobile customers in 2011 and 1.7 billion mobile internet users anticipated by 2013 (Infonetics Research), leveraging the mobile device system is crucial for organizations. Even though some technological innovations and gadgets are only shortly lived fads, there are others that transcend time and successfully modify the way we operate and do business.

Mobile tech engineering has transformed smartphones into web browsing devices, sometimes surpassing or taking the position of conventional internet browsing on personal computers. As technology develops and internet connections have become quicker and more dependable, more and more consumers will take advantage of mobile web surfing.

What does this mean? If you’re not catering to the mobile web surfer, you may be losing out on substantial exposure and business. Here’s why:

1) The Need for Instant Information

Who still has a dial-up connection? No one that we know. Most people want information and facts immediately. Concert playing in town? Music-lovers can purchase tickets instantaneously. A pair of jeans they like? They can uncover competitor’s prices online and make a buying selection right away. If you’re not there for those immediate buys, you might be missing out on major financial 0pportunity.
2) Size Matters When it Comes to User Experience

Most websites do display on mobile browsers. The distinction is how effectively your website shows up on smaller mobile displays. Need to continually resize the screen? Find it difficult to click on buttons? It’s these little details that drive user experience. If your website is not optimized for mobile use, visitors may be turned away by poor usability.

3) Rendering is Crucial

You might really like your website as it renders on your computer’s display, but that’s precisely what may cause difficulties on mobile devices. Have tons of bells and whistles? Employing a lot of flash? It’s very likely this will not render correctly on mobile phones and let down your visitors. When it comes to enhancing a website for mobile use, less is more.

Mobile technology and internet use is escalating significantly, generating a new medium for merchants and businesses to reach possible clients. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you may well be missing out in a big way.

Google+ Pages For Business: Taking Branding to New Heights

g+ Google+ Pages For Business: Taking Branding to New HeightsGoogle Plus (Google+ or G+) just launched its G+ Pages for businesses. We already know that a proper Google presence is absolutely crucial for business growth. And we know that G+ is the most explosive force on the social network scene in history. Now, the marketing propellant that is Google search combines with the G+ social aspect – and what you get is a powerful opportunity to increase your company’s presence on the Internet.

+1, +1, +1…

Here’s where G+ Pages surges ahead of Facebook: linking your Page to your AdWords campaigns. All the positive interactions and SEO-boosting fragments that your marketing efforts have been able to garner up until now get tallied together as a single total. Your customers will be able to see all your +1s seamlesslessly, no matter where the +1s came from (including from your website) and whether they are looking at:

  • one of your ads
  • a search result
  • your Page

It also means you will be able to put all your recommendations in more places. As Google points out:

“This means your +1’s will reach not only the 40+ million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day.”

More importantly, this integration with regular Google search means your recommendations from your customers – all your +1s – send an even stronger signal to Google about the popularity and authority of your brand.

Making (Direct) Connections With All Things Google

Of course, the biggest power of Google is that it is everywhere. These G+ rollouts are just the beginning of Google connecting all of its offerings together. We couldn’t be more excited, as social media marketing people, of the potential uses of all these changes coming up (and of course we’ll blog about it as the changes are rolled out)!

Google is even changing the functionality of its basic search to give more importance to G+ with Direct Connect. Typing a + before a company name in the search bar will take you directly to their page. This is only in limited functionality as yet – you can only do it with big names like +Android and +Toyota for now – but the possible ramifications of this for businesses is immense.

Google Themselves Say It Best

From their blog:

 “Google+ has always been a place for real-life sharing, and Google+ Pages is no exception. After all: behind every page (or storefront, or four-door sedan) is a passionate group of individuals, and we think you should able to connect with them too. For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world.”

To Our Clients, Friends, and Fans

All of our current social media clients should know we’ve got them covered regarding G+ Pages, as well as all upcoming trends in social media and Internet marketing. You’re welcome to call us/message us/see us with questions, of course. While we’re at it, new friends and fans — whether you need Internet marketing, social media, audiovideo, or website help — are welcome to contact us as well.

8 Important Elements of a Great Web Presence

340px Japanese Urban Expwy Sign Number 8.svg  217x300 8 Important Elements of a Great Web PresenceA successful website is pretty to look at, to be sure. But when potential customers browse your site, there should be minimal effort and time on their part to get to the goods and services that you offer. And when it comes time for them to buy, there should be no obstacles in their way as they head to checkout. They need ease of use. Your website must be clear and concise without being overly simplistic, because that in itself sends the wrong message. There must be substance.

We can break this down into bite-size pieces like this.

  1. Balance. Of course your site needs to have a clean, attractive design. The Internet is a visual medium and an ugly website is often the kiss of death. But the look and feel needs to have balance.
  2. Graphics That Do Not Distract. Nothing should take attention away from your marketing message. If your site is an online video game or movie promotion, of course it’s OK to have a full-blown Flash intro and loads of cutting-edge animations, but if you are marketing a more traditional product or service, you should avoid going overboard on the visual presentation. Avoid making your page so wide that visitors have to side scroll to read it all. It makes it sluggish and annoying, or worse, it makes you look like you don’t know anything about browsers.
  3. The 60-Second Rule. It’s safe to assume the average user will give your site a maximum of 60 seconds of their time unless you actively compel them to stay longer. For this reason, the area above the fold is the most important part of any page your visitor might land on. That refers to anything that is visible before your prospect has to scroll down the page. You should use this area to relay your most important message. You might leverage a well-crafted header graphic, a killer headline, or an audio greeting that plays as soon as the page is loaded to pull your visitor into your marketing message.
  4. Easy Navigation.  Give your visitor clear navigational options so they don’t get lost. You can take this a step further by actually directing prospects where you want them to go.
  5. Quality Content!  A strong and informative message is not only what your target market is looking for as they scour the Web in search of your product or service, it’s what the major search engines will use when ranking your site in the search results. It’s a great idea to present yourself or your company in a personal and inviting manner. Most people want to do business with other people, and not some nameless entity.
  6. Pre-Qualification.  Your website should answer many of the common questions and overcome the most typical objections posed by your target market. When this is handled correctly, you are able to weed out potentially problematic customers and pull only the best-fit clients into your funnel of profit. This is obvious enough in the case of a direct response sales letter site. But even if your business is in the service arena (landscaping, home inspection, wedding planning, etc.), pre-qualification is a must. By providing detailed information on your scope of service, and even including a FAQ page on your site, you can begin the pre-sell product and “warm up” your prospects before a personal meeting or phone conversation ever takes place.
  7. A Lead Capture Device To Set The Stage For Follow-Up Marketing. Research shows the average prospect needs to see an offer up to seven times before deciding to take action. If you let a visitor leave your site without collecting their contact information for a follow-up campaign, it might be your competition that finally ends up closing the sale. –You might offer a monthly newsletter, an discount club subscription, a sample product, or a free course as the incentive for your prospects to opt-in to your mailing list. These are just a few examples. There are a slew of different ways to collect your visitors contact info in an ethical, mutually beneficial way. The key is to offer some real value in exchange for the subscription.
  8. Findability. It’s pretty hard to profit from a website that your target market can’t find. It takes a lot of active promotion to drive traffic to your site, and this should be viewed as an ongoing process.

While the above statement is abundantly obvious to website owners in the business opportunity niche, a lot of traditional business owners fall into the trap of thinking an active site will automatically be available to the citizens of cyberspace.

Article marketing, link building, blogging, e-zine ads, viral marketing strategies, displaying your domain in all of your offline advertising, and joint venture promotions are all examples of effective promotion strategies.

Make sure your site meets the entire above curriculum, and you will have yourself a great foundation for profitable web marketing.

Social Media : Ups, Downs, and All Arounds

iqm Social Media : Ups, Downs, and All AroundsSocial media channels and social networking websites continue being among the most popular commodities in the global online sector.

Ups, Downs, and All Arounds

As the number of users to these websites increases, the software applications and venues broaden at the same time. We’ve seen sites decline and some have gone up in a glittery, moving unicorn gif-filled ball of fire (like, you know, MySpace). But even sites like MySpace are not necessarily declining – they are evolving, partly to jostle for position in the social media space, which they don’t want to lose.

That being said, the level of popularity of Facebook and related gaming apps continues to increase and will likely see even more growth in the coming years. The explosive growth of Google+, only a few months old, is changing the game. So much so that Facebook continues to roll out massive changes to their interface to incorporate some of the functionality of G+ and to try to stay on top.

Twitter continues to offer immediate gratification for millions around the world, while specific niche market networking sites are gaining a share of the market as well. A look all around the world reveals an infinitely diverse social media market and a great deal of possibilities.

(We will be getting more in-depth about Google+ Pages for Businesses in a very near future post. We’re excited about it!)

Google Dictionary Is Now Undefined

dreamstimefree 900879 300x198 Google Dictionary Is Now UndefinedGoogle has closed yet another property. The Google Dictionary is yet another service to get the proverbial ax. It is just another in a long line of abandoned Google properties, which include their web directory,Google Labs, and Google Wave, just to name a few.

Before the “Google is burning to the ground” reactions start appearing, it should be noted that Google is doing just fine on the financial end. The shuttling of these properties are little more than housekeeping and the removal of extraneous materials that people may or may not miss. Nevertheless, when Google discontinues something, even something as innocuous as a dedicated dictionary, it’s newsworthy.

That being said, it’s not the end of the world, although some are disappointed. Furthermore, Google is very a “trial and error” company, and if something doesn’t work the way they envisioned, and/or it’s not being used by the masses, the company has no problem scuttling what it considers dead weight. As pointed out by Barry Schwartz, a Google employee ventured to the Google Web Search Help forum to explain Google’s decision.

Simply put, they didn’t need a standalone dictionary any longer, at least from their perspective:

As many of you know, we’ve recently introduced a dictionary tool into Google Web Search to help you quickly look up the definition of a word,. Because the dictionary tool offers the same functionality as Google Dictionary, we’ve decided to discontinue dictionary.google.com.

For your definition needs, you can type your query right into the search box and use the dictionary tool located in the left-hand panel on the results page, or you can type [define (your word)] right into the search box.

User Reactions

As for the reaction to the closing of the Google Dictionary, that’s precisely what led Kelly F to issue her response. There’s only so much of this you can take without setting the record straight:

OMG! How can google do this without any warning. I’m not a native user. So, I use Google dictionary all the time. It’s the best dictionary out there. I’ve starred a lot of words too. Now I don’t see a way to get them back. Please google make Google Dictionary available again!!! Definitely a bad move by Google.

The sources Google gets/got their definitions from are not gone. Is typing “Dictionary” into a Google search bar really that difficult?

mashable

Who We Work With | iQuarius Media

Affiliate Marketing Tips1 Who We Work With  |  iQuarius Media

Whether you are an Ad AgencyMarketing CompanyDesign House, or Business Owner, we can compliment your efforts you already have in motion by extending your approach to the Internet.

  • Ad Agencies – If you are running a media blitz, let us execute the Internet campaign with PPC Advertising, Social Marketing, Email Campaigns, and online Press Releases. Inquire about our competitive agency rates.
  • Marketing Companies – So you’ve thought of the perfect brand and message for your client. Now let us help you get that message in front of your target market on the Internet with Website Development, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and more! Inquire about our competitive agency rates.
  • Design Shops –  You do great design and everyone knows it! Which is why they want you to design their next website, email campaign, or e-newsletters. Let us program it for you and help make your creative vision a reality.
  • Business Owners – You signed up to be the “expert in your field” and have the freedom to run your business. Now you are expected to know everything about internet marketing and information technology. Let us help you take the mystery out of “new media” by assisting you in forging a well-defined Internet Strategy so you can get back to doing what you do best.

What We Are NOT

We are not an Ad AgencyMarketing Company, or Design House. We complement these types of businesses by extending your reach to the internet world. You are the experts in coming up with the best “message” — and we are the vessel to deliver it.

Use Web Analytics to Become a Top Notch Marketer

google analytics dashboard1 300x279 Use Web Analytics to Become a Top Notch MarketerAll online and offline marketing campaigns should be tracked and measured. Let’s say you just wrote a blurb that promoted your website and there was an increase to that specific page. Without marking this blurb as a campaign within your analytics, what would you attribute the increase in traffic to? IN addition, having clear tracking for offline marketing, like trade shows, is an important way to compare the results of your entire marketing strategy.

Measure Traffic Sources. Find out how your visitors are finding you. Finding out which sources are driving the most traffic to the website will allow you to determine how well the search engines index the content on your website. You can also get the information to know if social media is actually working and which email campaigns are driving traffic. With the sources data, you can drill down further to strategize on what types of calls-to-action you place on specific pages.

Measure Conversion Rates. Getting visitors to the  website is the first step; getting them to convert into a lead or business is the next. Offering compelling content and clear calls to action will help to convert more of this traffic into leads for the business. Variant or A/B testing with landing pages and calls-to-action allow you to test which are converting at a higher average. Determine which keywords are giving you the best top, middle, and bottom of the funnel leads.

Ensure the data is clear. Focus on one metric. For example, if you notice an increase in traffic one week, can you tell what the cause of this increase was? You may notice there was a large increase of traffic from the blog; then, after drilling down further, you find that it was a specific article. This shows you that this specific content is compelling to your audience, and it would be a great idea to create more content on this topic.

Close the Loop. Most marketers are concerned about their marketing ROI and knowing where to devote more time, energy, and resources are important. Closed loop marketing finds out which campaigns are driving the most traffic, leads, and most importantly, customers. You want to devote your valued resources to marketing campaigns that are driving actual customers and business.

Proper web analytics can help you attract and retain customers and to increase the dollar volume each one spends.

Music Production & Editing at iQuarius

music1 208x3001 Music Production & Editing at iQuariusGrammy nomination? Check. Multiple major label experience? Check. An arsenal of recording and post-processing instruments at our disposal? Check. The skills and artistry to use it all? Check!

Your audio is safe with us.

Music Production & Editing

Music production and editing affect the structure of a composition — melodies and harmonies, beats, chord progressions, etc., and the engineering — sound levels, equalization, etc. All stages require musical skill, performance experience, and thorough technical knowledge.

And it’s just as much about style as it is about technique.

Our audio department is made up of award winners and engineers with many years of experience, who also happen to be working artists — exactly who you want to be working on your material.

Mobile Media and Apple Are Bigger Than You Think

iphone app in cupcakes 225x300 Mobile Media and Apple Are Bigger Than You ThinkNew Cisco reports show that global mobile data use almost tripled between 2009 and 2010. It’s been tripling every year for the last few years, with video taking up an increasing amount of traffic. By the end of this year, it’s predicted that more than half of all mobile traffic will be video. 

By 2015, it’s estimated that more people will access the internet through their phones than through their computers. As a matter of fact, a lot of this increased traffic will come from people who don’t even have electricity at home!

Of course, much of this is due to an explosive increase in smartphone sales over the past few years. And it’s not surprising that Apple’s iOS and Android devices are the leaders. But did you know, iPhone users are more likely to:

  • Pay for digital content
  • Use their phones to make mobile payments
  • Watch more video

Apple’s Net Worth in Perspective

Apple is worth more than $340 billion dollars. Buzzfeed helps put that in perspective for us with a list of surprising things that don’t amount to Apple’s net worth.

  1.  ALL the illegal drugs in the world (worth about $321 billion)
  2.  The entire economy of the wealthy, millionaire-filled country of Singapore ($318 billion)
  3.  The Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Stephen King, and Twilight franchises combined ($49 billion)
  4.  All the farm-rich land in Iowa and South Dakota, at a price of $4200 per acre
  5.  10 years of silver production
  6. The economic cost of obesity in the U.S. ($300 billion)
  7.  The GDP of Denmark, ranked 5th in the world for GDP per capita ($337 billion)
  8. 45 days’ worth of global oil consumption, roughly $7 billion a day
  9. The combined GDP of Israel, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon
  10. The Great Wall of China , at $.52 a brick

 

As a business, mobile-optimizing your website is an absolute necessity to get and stay in the game. And mobile media development  is a great place to focus on to draw people in.  Mobile media — consumable content accessible on cell phones — introduces consumers to your content and your business quickly and effectively, and on an emotional level.

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